We analyze the optical caustic produced by light refracted at the curved meniscus surrounding a cylindrical rod standing partially out of a liquid-filled container. When the rod is tilted from the vertical or when light is diagonally incident, the caustic is a four-cusped astroid with two of its cusps obscured by the rod's shadow. If a portion of the flat end of the rod is raised above the water level, the caustic evolves into a pattern of five interlocking cusps. The five cusps result from symmetry breaking of a three-cusped surface perturbation caustic. (C) 2003 Optical Society of America.
Lock, James A.; Adler, Charles L.; Ekelman, Diana; Mulholland, Jonathan; and Keating, Brian, "Analysis of the Shadow-Sausage Effect Caustic" (2003). Physics Faculty Publications. 44.
Lock, James A., Charles L. Adler, Diana Ekelman, Jonathan Mulholland, and Brian Keating. "Analysis of the Shadow-Sausage Effect Caustic." Applied Optics 42 (2003): 418-428.
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